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Chitra Ganesh, A city will share her secrets if you know how to ask, 2020, site-specific QUEERPOWER facade installation. Courtesy Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art.

Chitra Ganesh: A city will share her secrets if you know how to ask

Oct 18 - Jun 01, 2022

Chitra Ganesh: A city will share her secrets if you know how to ask

Chitra Ganesh’s 2020-2021 iteration of QUEERPOWER, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art's annual site-specific public art installation imagines a queer space and futurity that is abundant and temporally layered. Incorporating both historical and speculative imagery, the installation celebrates the queer and transgender histories of downtown Manhattan and the neighborhoods adjacent to the Museum’s SoHo location. Ganesh transports the viewer into the past and beyond, including imagery drawn from researching architectures of 19th-century Black settlements Seneca Village and little Africa, as well as 17th-century Lenape settlements and structures that have since been destroyed or erased, alongside flora and fauna indigenous to NYC.

The project extends the artist’s ongoing commitment to femininity and social formations that are overlooked or excluded from mainstream discourses around queerness and race, and highlights the vibrant queer Asian & South Asian communities that have been influential for the artist. The installation is grounded in the present moment, including images of the 36 trans and gender-nonconforming people who were violently murdered in 2020 (at the time of the work’s completion) as well as historic queer and trans activists, including those who were lost to COVID.

Curated by Riya Lerner


Listen to the audio guide for Chitra Ganesh: A city will share her secrets if you know how to ask.

Watch this live recording of a conversation between Chitra Ganesh and scholar Amber Musser on queer femininity, racial equity, and Ganesh’s ongoing practice.

Chitra Ganesh: A city will share her secrets if you know how to ask is generously supported by a grant from the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.